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The Confession by John Grisham


The ConfessionReviewed by Allen Hott

An extremely well told story of how deeply involved some people can quickly get into others’ lives. Grisham has written a story that is not only about good people and good happenings but he has tempered it with sadness and terrible events. As usual he has written in such a way that the reader cannot put the book down but has to continue moving toward an ending which I am not even sure Grisham had envisioned when he began writing The Confession.

It seems very innocent and not out of the ordinary when a gentleman enters the office of Keith Schroeder, pastor of St Mark’s Lutheran Church in Kansas. He wants to speak to the pastor and the pastor’s wife, Dana Schroeder, after a few basic questions, escorts him into the pastor’s study.

The gentleman introduces himself as Travis Boyette and explains that he had been to the church service the previous day. Boyette than tells his story. He is on parole and staying in a halfway house close to the church. Although a forty something year old man he tells Keith that he has spent much of his life behind bars. Most of the time he has been incarcerated for rape or attempted rape but he readily admits that along the way he has also killed in the commitment of his crimes.

Keith attempts to remain calm as he asks why Boyette is there and the explanation is that a young black man in Texas is going to be put to death for the murder of a young high school girl there about nine years ago. The execution is to take place within the week. Boyette admits to being the murderer and explains that her body is buried in the countryside outside of Joplin, Missouri. Boyette also tells Keith that he is dying of a brain tumor which is inoperable and he wants to do something to save the boy’s life.

But he also tells Keith that will never happen in Texas because they are the leading state for putting people to death. He then tells Keith that his head is hurting badly and he suddenly leaves for the halfway house where he is staying.

While this was going on Dana has been checking his story on the computer in her office and finds that it appears to be true. However she warns her husband not to get involved with this because there is nothing he can do but he could get into trouble one way or another if he tries.

Keith is strongly convinced that he must do something and within the next 24 hours he has Boyette in his car heading for Texas. He is very much in hope that the passionate attorney who is trying to save the young black boy will listen and be able to stop the execution.

From that beginning Grisham has built a suspenseful tale and also attempted to open the eyes of the world as to how wrong killing a human for killing another human really is. He appears to be a strong opponent to capital punishment and after reading The Confession chances are that you will be also!

Really great book with a purpose in mind I believe which only adds to the overall power of Grisham’s writing!


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